Kiradech comes alive on tour

Mon 25 Mar 2013

Kiradech comes alive on tour

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Singapore, March 25: Thailand’s rising star Kiradech Aphibarnrat believes his ‘birth’ on the Asian Tour has made him a winner that he has always wanted to be following his biggest career win at the Maybank Malaysian Open last weekend.
Despite having to battle the elements and a thyroid disease, the 23-year-old showed he can match up against the best in the world when he outplayed the likes of Major winners such as South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington as well as Ryder Cup star Edoardo Molinari of Italy to lift the Seagram Trophy.
With his winner’s prize cheque of US$458,330, Kiradech propelled to the top of the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit- a position where he is determined to be in when the season comes to a close at the end of the year.
“It’s the Tour (Asian Tour) where I was born. I’m 24 this year and I’ve got another 20 years to play. I’ll try to win as much as I can. I’ve three Tours to play on now (Asian Tour, Japan Tour, European Tour) and my focus will be to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit,” said Kiradech
Dubbed Asia’s John Daly due to his physique and style of play, Kiradech has raised the bar higher and is setting his sights on joining the exclusive Major winner’s club, much like his namesake.
“I’ll try to win a Major event. I cannot say when it is but I’ll try my best. I just play for fun. I don’t have any routine. I’m happy with the name, John Daly of Asia. He won a Major event and I’m proud someone has called me that,” said Kiradech.
Kiradech’s early season success has seen him notched two top-five finishes and a win in only three starts on the region’s premier Tour, which is celebrating its 10 season in 2013.
The Thai will also be making his maiden appearance at The Open Championship after he won the International Final Qualifying – Asia in Thailand earlier this month
Kiradech’s quick rise since his amateur days where he was crowned World Junior Champion on two occasions can be credited to the unity and close bond he shares with his fellow compatriots.
“The Thai pro golfers, we stay like family. Boonchu Ruangkit, Thaworn Wiratchant, Prom Meesawat, and Thongchai Jaidee, they all provide valuable advice to the younger generation,” said Kiradech.
“Boonchu and Thongchai teach me a lot and have always stressed not to put too much pressure on myself. I played the World Cup with Thongchai and I felt bad when I missed a shot but he would always tell me never to give up,” said Kiradech, whose partnership with the three-time Order of Merit winner saw them finish their World Cup campaign in tied-18th place in 2011.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar meanwhile slipped to second place on the Order of Merit after missing the cut in Malaysia while China’s Liang Wen-chong is in third place after his season haul of US$175,909.
The Asian Tour will travel to Thailand for inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT which will be held at the Alpine Golf Resort-Chiangmai from March 28-31. Major champions Y.E Yang, Ernie Els and Michael Campbell will headline the US$750,000 full field Asian Tour event.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos      Player Earnings (US$)

1          Kiradech APHIBARNRAT   (THA)         $594,230.00
2          Gaganjeet BHULLAR   (IND)                $262,648.57
3          LIANG Wen-chong   (CHN)                  $175,909.00
4          BAEK Seuk-hyun   (KOR)                      $122,998.50
5          Joonas GRANBERG   (FIN)                   $80,812.83
6          Anirban LAHIRI   (IND)                        $74,124.00
7          Scott HEND   (AUS)                              $72,915.00
8          Chawalit PLAPHOL   (THA)                  $70,971.00
9          Jeev Milkha SINGH   (IND)                  $58,305.00
10        Berry HENSON   (USA)                        $54,526.50
11        Mithun PERERA   (SRI)                        $51,396.00
12        KIM Gi-whan   (KOR)                           $50,892.00
13        Himmat RAI   (IND)                             $49,700.00
14        Rashid KHAN   (IND)                            $49,146.00
15        Prom MEESAWAT   (THA)                   $48,784.00
16        Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL   (THA)          $45,022.50
17        Shiv KAPUR   (IND)                              $44,425.00
18        Adilson DA SILVA   (BRA)                    $44,418.00
19        Chapchai NIRAT   (THA)                      $40,523.00
20        SIDDIKUR   (BAN)                                $35,205.62
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.comwww.facebook.com/asiantourgolfwww.twitter.com/asiantourgolf,www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf